Social Media a Low Priority for ASX200
7 August 2013 at 10:16 am
New research suggests that 22% of ASX200 listed companies continue to ignore social media channels as a means of communicating Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives with stakeholders.
The study by BRR Media in partnership with social business consultancy the Ripple Effect Group, considered the scope of the social media usage of companies listed in the ASX200 Index, which measures the performance of the 200 largest stocks on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Some 78% of ASX200 members engaged with social media channels of some sort, but advertising and recruitment were the most commonly cited purposes, with 73 and 54% of companies nominating those forms of use respectively.
Usage related to CSR communications, such as public relations (20% engagement rate), investor relations (8%) and company updates (29%) was less frequent.
Professional networking platform Linkedin was the most popular channel, with an engagement rate of 58% percent followed by Twitter on 47%.
Top sectors using social media included consumer discretionaries (73% engagement), consumer staples (64%) and IT (58%).
The Utilities and Materials sectors shied away from social media use the most, with only 17 and 22% engaged respectively.
The research follows a global study earlier this year that suggested social media was emerging as a key way for consumers to engage with CSR content.
That research, by Cone Communications and Echo Research, showed that nearly two thirds of global consumers were using social media for this purpose.
A 2012 study by consultancy Equilibrium investigated online engagement for sustainability purposes among the ASX200 also spotlighted to potential of the space for communication of CSR efforts.
The report ‘Sustainability, Social Media and the ASX200: how they engage’ highlighted the Commonwealth Bank, Origin Energy, Telstra and Coca Cola Amatil as social media success stories in the sustainability field.
“Online engagement presents a great opportunity for companies looking to communicate sustainability. Indeed, it should be a particularly powerful combination given that both are rooted in the principles of authenticity, transparency, credibility, collaboration and community,” the report said.
“There is no reason to be uninformed or inactive. Trends that shape the business landscape matter. The internet and rise of online engagement channels provide great opportunities for companies to connect with key stakeholders in exciting new ways.”
Between 2012 and 2013, 61% of the ASX200 have increased their social media activity with only 7% decreasing during that time.